A superstar Chinese hacker just won $112,000 from Google, its largest bug bounty ever


Pixel 2Jeff Chiu/AP

  • Google just awarded its largest bug bounty ever to a
    Chinese researcher named Guang Gong. 
  • Gong discovered a security issue that affected Pixel
    phones and received a total payout of $112,500 from
    Google.
  • But Gong is a pro at hacking Pixel phones — his team
    gained control of a Pixel phone in 60 seconds at the annual
    computer-hacking contest Pwn2Own, resulting in a $120,000
    prize. 

A Chinese security researcher just received Google’s largest bug
bounty ever. 

Google announced this week it awarded
$112,500 to Guang Gong, a researcher who works for Chinese
security giant Qihoo 360. It’s the largest amount Google has
awarded since increasing its top payouts for
bug bounties in June.

In August, Gong submitted a working remote exploit chain, or
remote attack, on Google’s Pixel phone, which could be used to
steal data or introduce malware onto a device. Google said on its
developers blog that it patched the bug in a December update.

Google has been working to ensure that Pixel phones are secure,
both on the hardware and software front. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2
XL have tamper-resistant hardware, and
Google says it would be difficult for hackers to decrypt your
data without knowing your password first. 

But Gong and his team at Qihoo 360 are pros are hacking the Pixel
by now. At Pwn2Own 2016, a prestigious annual hacking contest,
the team cracked the first-generation
Pixel
in 60 seconds. The team won a cash prize of $120,000
for its efforts, eventually netting a total of $520,000 in prize
money
at the contest for breaching a variety of software
services, including Adobe Flash.  

EXCLUSIVE FREE SLIDE DECK:
The Next Smartphone by the BI Intelligence Research Team.
Get the Slide Deck Now »

Author: